Study Guide

One Hundred Years of Solitude Chapter 7

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Chapter 7

  • A couple of months later, Colonel Aureliano Buendía is captured by the Conservative government and sentenced to the firing squad. He asks only that his execution take place in Macondo.
  • Soldiers haul him into town and put him in jail with his BFF, Colonel Gerineldo Márquez. When Úrsula busts her way in to see her son, she brings him a little gun. He gives her some poetry that he's been writing and asks her to burn it.
  • Buendía had one of his premonitions that the firing squad should take place in Macondo, and that was his final wish. But for some reason he hasn't had a premonition about his actual death, so he's not sure what that's all about.
  • As it turns out, since Macondo is about one degree from boiling over into rebellion, the soldiers are way too scared to carry out the firing squad.
  • But finally the order comes: kill him in the next twenty-four hours or else.
  • So they put Colonel Aureliano Buendía against the wall. He closes his eyes and remembers the ice.
  • This is how the novel starts, remember? With him facing the firing squad, thinking about seeing ice for the first time with his dad. So we're back to the beginning now.
  • And just like that, the execution is interrupted by Colonel Aureliano Buendía's older brother, José Arcadio (II), who comes out of his house and threatens the soldiers with a shotgun.
  • The soldiers are totally psyched. They abandon the government, join up with Colonel Aureliano Buendía, and begin a series of armed rebellions all over the country.
  • Meanwhile, back in Macondo, the government threatens to kill Colonel Gerineldo Márquez if Buendía doesn't give himself up. Buendía ups the ante and threatens to kill every army prisoner from now on if they kill Márquez. Well played, sir. Márquez is released unharmed.
  • Meanwhile, back at Úrsula's house, there are now tons of children. The daughter of Santa Sofía de la Piedad and Arcadio (II) is there; her name is Remedios. We'll call her Remedios (II) until she gets her eventual nickname. Santa Sofía also had twins, José Arcadio Segundo and Aureliano Segundo. And of course, there is Aureliano José, who is Colonel Aureliano Buendía's illegitimate son by Pilar Ternera.
  • Yeah, we know. Listen, there's a reason that every edition of this novel comes with a picture of the Buendía family tree. Shmoop's suggestion is to bookmark that puppy and keep looking back at it pretty often.
  • So anyway, a few months later, José Arcadio (II) comes home after work, like he always does, goes into his bedroom, closes the door, and a gun goes off.
  • Rebeca swears she never heard anything, which is a weird story, but why would she kill him?
  • Anyway, blood flows out of his ear, down the street, around some corners, up the stairs of Úrsula's house, and through the rooms there, until it finds her.
  • Yep. And you thought those crazy premonitions were wild. This really takes the magical realism cake. (What's magical realism? Check out "Genre" for the deets.)
  • The body smells like gunpowder, and the smell won't come off regardless of what they do.
  • After the funeral, Rebeca shuts herself up in her house and almost never comes out again.
  • Colonel Aureliano Buendía sees that the Liberals are winning battles but losing the war. One day he drinks a poisoned cup of coffee and almost dies. When he recovers, he realizes that he needs to swallow his pride and cozy up to the other rebellion leaders inland.
  • He sets off and leaves Colonel Gerineldo Márquez in charge of the city.
  • Gerineldo Márquez is totally into Amaranta. Apparently this is a long-time thing, but now he's finally trying to woo her.
  • She's really into him, too. But when he finally proposes, she declines. Why? Who knows. She might be the least understandable character in this novel. Is she still feeling guilty about Remedios Moscote? Pietro Crespi? Is she is too invested in raising Aureliano José as her own son? What do you think?
  • Colonel Aureliano Buendía sends Úrsula a letter predicting that his father will die soon.
  • Úrsula and a bunch of strong dudes untie José Arcadio Buendía from his tree and bring him inside, but the only person he can really communicate with is Prudencio Aguilar. (He's that guy whose ghost comes to him and Úrsula when they first marry, remember?) They talk about starting a rooster farm together to pass the time after death.
  • And then José Arcadio Buendía dies.
  • More tears. We liked him.

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